Urban Park Expedition 2018

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“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but what we refuse to destroy.” — John Sawhill

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park opened its doors to the public in late 2012. Nestled in the heart of Bishan, the 62-hectare park undoubtably became an instant favourite amongst nature-loving Singaporeans and avid joggers. As a matter of fact, social media addicts also would be enchanted with this urban park, for its lush hills and calm streams are extremely Instagram-worthy!

That said, it is of no wonder that the Earthlink NTU Nature Guiding Committee decided to hold its first Urban Park Expedition there. Earthlings, the NTU community, and members of the public excitedly gathered at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on Saturday, the 27th of October, to explore what this sanctuary had to offer.

The Nature Guides kickstarted the trail with the Cleansing Biotope. It is a series of specially engineered wetland cells to facilitate water filtration and treatment. Subsequently, the filtered water will be used for the children’s water playground in the vicinity. It is indeed a stroke of genius, for a beautiful-looking environment can be maintained without having to tap on Singapore’s precious water supply! Furthermore, the Biotope is home to many small, shelled creatures. Snail-lovers were especially thrilled to find the Biotope’s cattails dotted with numerous Golden Apple Snails and their coral-pink eggs.

After admiring the Cleansing Biotope, the participants were introduced to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park’s massive trees. The participants were blown away by the allure of the willowy Rhu trees and flabbergasted to know that Strangler Fig trees thrive by engulfing and “strangling” their hosts! About an hour into the Expedition, the participants also caught a glimpse of impressive-looking birds such as the Purple Heron and Stock Bill Kingfisher. In fact, Earthlink NTU Nature Guide Ng Wei Soon was astonished at how lucky the participants were to chance upon the majestic Kingfisher: “There normally [is or] are only one or two of them in a park.”

Two hours later, the Expedition ended with a mini wrap-up conducted by the Nature Guides. All in all, the number of green spaces in tiny Singapore may be limited. However, the latter is an inaccurate indicator of the sheer size of biodiversity we house in our concrete jungle. Hence, to all readers out there: do remember to slow your pace and take in the scenery around you. And who knows, you may spot a new species of an animal/plant or two!

Article by: Lim Jia Ying
Picture credit: Lim Jia Ying

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